Though She Be But Little…She is Fierce || A Premature Birth Story.


When you think about giving birth and bringing a newborn home for the first time, you’re terrified, and excited all at the same time. You think about the pain labor will bring. You think about making sure your home is ready. Maybe you think about sleepless nights to come, but you never think about the possibility of your new bundle of joy being dangerously premature and spending two months in the hospital.

After struggling to conceive, and having a great pregnancy, you can imagine my surprise when they told me my baby would be coming super early.

The night before my C-section — at 30 weeks — I met with a Neonatologist. {A Neonatologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the medical care of ill and/or premature newborns.} Though polite, and obviously very intelligent, the Neonatologist terrified me. She explained to my husband and I that, at 30 weeks, the baby’s lungs had not yet fully developed, and we shouldn’t expect to hear crying immediately. She explained there could be serious mental delays or handicaps.

Armed with knowledge of the possible hurdles we would have to overcome, I walked into the Bay Area Neonatal Intensive Care Unit thirty hours after giving birth. This is what I saw:

NICU  - Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Moms

At two and a half pounds, my daughter, Raegan, needed to be inside of an isolate to maintain her body temperature. Babies don’t develop the ability to suck until 34 weeks, so she required a feeding tube. Her heart rate and oxygen levels were also being constantly monitored.

There were so many wires connected to my 2lb preemie baby.

It was all very overwhelming and truly the scariest place I’ve ever been. As the days went on, and turned to weeks, something made the entire experience much more easy to swallow: the nurses.

We were at the NICU by our baby’s side as often and as much as we could be. The NICU nurses worked seven-hour shifts, so as you can imagine that we got to know some of them really well.

They shared in sorrows when we had less than perfect days, and they shared in our joy as we experienced major milestones.

Baby Baltierra , Corpus Christi Moms, Coastal Bend Moms, Bay Area Hospital

We spent fifty days in the NICU gaining weight and learning to bottle feed. It was mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. She was discharged at almost 2 months old and weighing 4 lbs 6oz. Let’s just say my husband and I had to remind ourselves to breath on the drive home.

Baby Baltierra 1

It was never what I expected or wanted for my baby, but I will tell you this: she’s my hero.

The adversity my preemie daughter was forced to face at 2lbs 8oz and 10 weeks premature, was more than I have had to face in my twenty-nine years on this planet. She’s a force to be reckoned with and will move mountains, and I can’t wait to watch!

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